Unlike America, Japanese teachers are respected members of the community and are respected within the schools. Teachers will generally work longer hours than in the U.S. and become involved in various school and community activities. Instead of being seen just as a subject specialist they are seen as also as mentor, counselor and sports coach.
Teaching duties are seen to extend to moral instruction and character development of the children, and the teacher's responsibilities are not just within the school hours, but they can extend off the school grounds and after school hours.
In effect, Japanese teachers tend to be more holistic in their approach to their students while the involvement of American teachers ends with presenting their own specialized subject material. Only in classes somewhat like "life studies" will teachers relate to their students in a more holistic fashion.
Teachers are well paid and get various types of perks, including a bonus paid in three installments which is worth about five month's salary. They also receive health and retirement benefits.
Teaching is a popular career choice; there are five or six applicants for every single position.
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